The late 1950’s were a time for revolution in African American history as the Civil Rights movement gained momentum and grasped the attention of the public. During the fight for African American equality, Lorraine Hansberry published the critically acclaimed play A Raisin in the Sun (1959), a story of an urban black American family and their attempts to improve the trajectory of their future using a $10,000 check paid upon the death of their patriarch, Big Walter. Beneatha Younger, a twenty-year-old medical student and the daughter of the deceased, gives a voice to a fledgling generation of aspirational black Americans. Beneatha provides audiences insight into a shared experience of African Americans grappling with cultural identity through her interactions with two suitors, George Murchison and Joseph Asagai. Through Hansberry’s juxtaposition of George as a symbol of assimilation and Asagai of Afrocentrism, she demonstrates the vexing African American struggle to find a distinct identity in one of two unattainable extremes.
Two Unattainable Ideals: Beneatha’s Struggle for Identity in A Raisin in the Sun.
Undergraduate Review, 14, 32-35.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/undergrad_rev/vol14/iss1/9
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